Owner prosecuted for failing to provide urgent veterinary care

Published on 20 July 2022

Dog suffers for weeks with multiple bone fractures

RSPCA is reminding Victorians of their obligation to provide appropriate veterinary care for their animals after it prosecuted a dog owner for allowing the animal to suffer for weeks on end without required veterinary care.

The prosecution against Granny Tauiti was finalised last month and proceeded by way of a plea in Frankston Magistrates’ Court.

Tauiti was the person in charge of a six-month-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross named Koda who sustained multiple injuries while in Ms Tauiti’s care. While Tauiti confirmed in court that she was aware that something was wrong with Koda, who was limping and had deteriorated over a period of two to three weeks, she did not seek veterinary attention for the injured dog or ask for help.

The case was reported to RSPCA and upon attending the property in Chelsea Heights, RSPCA Victoria Inspector Maria found Koda in a severely injured condition, unable to stand or use her back legs.

“Koda was in a dire state when I found her and in addition to being severely injured and in obvious pain, the back half of her body was urine-soaked and stained, and her rear legs appeared to be paralysed. It was very clear that she had been suffering for a period of time and required immediate veterinary attention.

“Owners and people in charge of animals have more than a duty to provide veterinary attention to animals in need, it is a legal obligation outlined by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.”

The accused confirmed she had not provided vet treatment to Koda due to financial constraints and surrendered her to RSPCA Victoria. Inspector Maria immediately transported Koda to RSPCA Victoria’s Veterinary Clinic for assessment.

“If your animal is involved in an accident or is injured and requires veterinary care that you are unable to afford, we urge you to seek immediate help such as contacting an animal welfare organisation and discussing options to surrender the animal so they can receive proper medical treatment. An animal that is sick or injured should not be left to suffer due to financial reasons when help is available,” said Inspector Maria.

The attending veterinary surgeon reported multiple bone fractures over Koda’s entire body, partial paralysis of her back legs, incontinence and nerve damage, as well as urine scalding affecting two-thirds of her body.

The veterinarian’s expert opinion was that Koda had been subjected to severe trauma, resulting in internal injuries, some of which were more than six weeks old. Lack of veterinary attention or pain relief resulted in suffering for a substantial period of time. Due to the severe nature and extent of the injuries, Koda was euthanised on humane grounds.

The Magistrate placed Ms Tauiti on a good behaviour bond for a period of 12 months without conviction and requested that she make a donation to the RSPCA in the sum of $500.00. RSPCA was granted a s12 disqualification order and Ms Tauiti was disqualified from dog ownership for a period of 10 years.

If owners are struggling to care for their pets, they are encouraged to ask family and friends for help or to contact RSPCA Victoria by calling 03 9224 2222.

For more information on caring for your animals, visit rspcavic.org

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